You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:14-16

Friday, August 30, 2013

Feisty Women of the American Revolution
Sarah Franklin Bache

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
This post is part of an A to Z blog hop. This week's letter is "F"
Sarah Franklin "Sally" Bache
         Many women made contributions to the Revolutionary War effort. American men, to their credit, recognized their value and the fact that American women tended to be feisty.
        Once, Lord Cornwallis said that the British weren’t fighting only farmers with pitchforks and sickles, but their wives as well. Samuel Adams reportedly said, “With ladies on our side, we can make every Tory tremble.”
        Sarah Franklin “Sally” Bache, born September 11, 1744, to Benjamin Franklin and Deborah Read, was one of those feisty women.
        An ardent patriot during the Revolutionary War, she raised $300,000 for the Continental Army, the equivalent of $3 million today.
       Sarah also did extensive relief work. For example, as part of her involvement with the Ladies Association of Philadelphia, under her leadership the group made 2,200 shirts for soldiers at the Continental army’s winter quarters at Valley Forge in 1777.        
      Sarah loved music and was a skilled harpsichordist. She also loved reading. Those accomplishments, coupled with the fact that she grew up in an educated, opinionated household, equipped her to serve as the hostess for her father’s gatherings upon his return in 1775 from France.

I'm linking to Ms. Barbie's blog today as she talks about a fantastic event her community organzied "For the least of these."


Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Colonial American Brooms

Visit Stitches Thru Time blog at and read my post about colonial American brooms- Brooms to Sweep Troubles Away
broomcorn plant for making brooms

Friday, August 23, 2013

"E" is for Eee-ew-w-w-w!

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

      This post is a part of an A to Z blog hop. This week our letter is "E."
     I'm still researching for the novel I'm writing set in the NC Outer Banks and along the Atlantic Coast in 1799.
      I’ve got some more pirate stuff for you, and it’s yucky.

caltrops looked like crow's feet
      In the 1700s, pirates would sometimes toss caltrops onto the decks of the ships they wanted to capture. These diabolical little antipersonnel weapons remind me of current-day jacks from the game Ball and Jacks (well, sort of).
     About an inch tall, they were fashioned out of iron or steel with four barbed-wire like points, constructed in such a way that, no matter how they landed, one point was always sticking up.
     The reason behind this weapon?
     Eighteenth century sailors went barefoot, mostly for comfort, but also because it made it easier to climb up into the sail rigging. So, if you stepped on a caltrop, it was mighty painful and would delay you from fighting back as pirates boarded your ship.
     Barbaric -- you think?

Today, I'm linking up with J'Nell at Daring to Romance.


Friday, August 16, 2013

“D” is for Captain Danziger,
a Dutch pirate also known as “Captain Devil”

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
Battle at sea.
         (This post is part of an A to Z blog hop, and this week's letter is "D")

           Because my current work in progress is a historical novel that takes place in the NC Outer Banks in the 1790s, I’ve been researching pirates.
        It’s a fascinating study and has been great fun for me.
        Captain Simon Danziger (aka Zymen Danseker) was a Dutchman who served for France as a privateer, but later sailed with the Barbary corsairs, sailing against France.
        The Barbary pirates were Muslims based in the ports of Tunis, Tripoli, and Algiers that became known as the Barbary Coast, because of the Berber inhabitants. From the 1500s to the 1800s corsairs captured around 800,000 to over a million people as slaves.
        Captain Danziger captured many Christian ships for Muslims corsairs and taught them seafaring skills, but never converted to Islam. The corsairs gave him the nickname of “Captain Devil.”
       Captain Danziger had a wife and children in France, but was unable to return home until he negotiated a pardon from French King Henry IV. He received that pardon only after capturing a Spanish galleon and presenting the prize to the king.
        This made him an enemy of the leader of the corsairs, so much so that when he returned to Tunis in 1611 to negotiate the release of some captured French ships, the corsairs hanged him.
Another “D” word is “doubloons,” which were gold coins minted by Spain that were originally called escudos, the booty Captain Danziger may have stolen or the currency in which he was paid.

Susan F. Craft, is the author of The Chamomile, an inspirational Revolutionary War romantic suspense set in Charleston, SC.

Castiron Chamomiles
Women of the Revolution

     Most everyone has heard of “steel magnolias,” southern woman who are strong and independent yet very feminine. Women who can rip another woman up one side and down the other and end it with “bless her heart.”

During the American Revolution,
the chamomile was known as the
"Rebel Flower," because the more
it was trod upon the stronger it
came back
     There’s another a group of women I call “cast iron chamomiles,” backcountry women who, when their husbands left to fight in the Revolutionary War, faced head on an enemy that rode up to their front porches, burned their homes, stole their food and livestock, and left them to fend for themselves and their families with sometimes only the clothes on their backs. Women who could not only “bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan,” but who could shoot the pig, haul it to the barn, and butcher it, making use of every single part, including the hair on its jowls.
     I discovered theses amazing ladies while researching for my historical fiction. Not surprisingly, I came across some familiar names, Dolley Madison, Betsy Ross, and Molly Pitcher, whom I had read about in my American history classes.
     But what about Nancy Hart? Martha Bell? Harriet Prudence Patterson Hall? Hannah Clark or Rosanna Farrow? And so many others I ran across. I gained a healthy respect for these courageous women who really should be, but sadly are not, in our history books.
     I’ll be posting about these women in future posts.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Meet Emma Right
Author of Keeper of Reign
a YA novel

I’m so happy to introduce you to Emma Right and her novel, Keeper of Reign.

Emma Right is a happy wife and homeschool mother of five living in the Pacific West Coast. Besides running a busy home, and looking after too many pets, she also enjoys reading aloud to her children and often has her nose in a book. Emma was a copywriter for a major advertising agency during her BC years. BC meaning “Before Children,” which may as well have been in the BC era, as she always says.

What was the hardest part about writing
Keeper of Reign?
As a homeschool mother of five, with kids with me the entire day, and a husband who travels a lot, the greatest challenge was trying to get at least a ten-minute block of time without being interrupted by some comment, or “Help! Mommy! The cat's scaring the dog!" or "Where is…" or a loud crash coming from somewhere, or a fight between the cat and the bunny…the list continues.

In all this, I had to remind myself that much as I enjoy writing, my kids always come before my book. But some days I struggled to remember that. I share this because I know there are many moms out there who might have this struggle and because the work of a mom seems endless (and sometimes mundane,) but our real gems are the children. We need to remind ourselves and each other of this. They are truly God's gift to us.

Why did you write Keeper of Reign?
I wanted to write an allegorical fantasy about the fall of man and the redemption story set in a fantasy setting that's filled with danger and adventure. Something young readers can enjoy but still have a Christian message.

What do you hope Keeper of Reign accomplishes?
I hope my readers can see that with the power of the gospel, we can overcome our problems and difficulties. I want to empower young readers with this message, that if they seek the truth (the Ancient Books, in Keeper of Reign) they will find wisdom and answers to life's problems. It doesn't mean the answers are going to come easy, but persistence will pay off, and the Bible has the answers.

Emma's list of things she didn’t know about becoming a published author when she first started writing.
It took me five years from start to finish to get Keeper of Reign published. And I thought the writing was hard. Well, the publishing was equally as hard, and the marketing … almost a nightmare. So new writers, gear up, and save some of your energy toward the two arms of becoming a published author—the publishing side, and the marketing side.
I also learned that when I put my book out there, in the wide world of Amazon and beyond, I will get praises, but I will also get criticisms, and these are from total strangers who may not have anything constructive to add.
To realize that the book I write is not for everyone. Some people may be offended, some may be confused, some may just not get it. It’s just a fact of life, and once I get published and my book’s out there I must accept this, and take arrows with a pinch of grace. If I look at some of the bestselling authors and their books on Amazon, I see that they, too, get one star reviews, and they have been doing this for decades, made millions, and even won awards. Not everyone can eat jalapeno, without hiccupping.
That the thrill that someone appreciates and gets the message of the book I have written far outweigh any monetary gain. Sure, money is important to sustain life, but truly, a book is an expression of a purpose. And with Keeper of Reign I set out to show readers 11 and up, (some say that’s Middle Grade, some say that’s Young Adult,) that no matter how small they feel they can still make a difference. And instead of being overwhelmed, they can be overcomers.
That there is such a thing as a blog tour! And a blog hop! And rafflecopter—what sort of a flying machine is that?
Trying to market Keeper of Reign opened up a whole world of internet sites I never even thought to venture into before.
of the authors I so admire is Lucy Maud Montgomery who wrote Ann of Green Gables, and I always imagined the life of an author would so mirror hers, someone sitting in a remote place somewhere and spending hours pounding on a typewriter. Guess what? Now with Keeper of Reign published I realize that the authors of today don’t lead that sort of life at all. Authors today have to be out there, interacting with the world, going on tours, chatting on forums. Especially for us who are self-published. My only concern is, when would I have time to write? Keeper of Reign Book 2 is in my head, trying to bust out of me.
I was shocked to learn that bookstores destroy thousands of physical books each year. What a waste. And it so went against my recycling grain. I can’t help but think there must be a less wasteful way than this. How about donating the books to some third world place where books are so lacking?

To contact Emma --
If you sign up for her newsletter on page, she will give you a book and contest updates.

Facebook, and Twitter.

Click here to purchase a Kindle version of Keeper of Reign.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Meet Author Karla Akins

A to Z blog hop at Patterings.
This post is part of an A to Z blog hop.  This week, the letter is "B," and "B" is for Biker Boots!!!!
Congratulations to author Karla Akins on the release of her new book, The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots.
One lucky commenter on this post will win an ebook copy of The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots. The winner will be announced August 8.

Karla has a fantastic prize giveaway on her site. Click here.
Here’s my review of this delightful book:
Strap on your helmet, you’re in for a DELIGHTFUL ride with Biker Boots. While you’re at it, grab a box of tissues—for crying and for laughing out loud until you cry. Karla Akins has created so many endearing, honest characters I can’t decide which one I like the most. Karla’s plot moves like an exciting ride through the mountains, ups and downs and hairpin twists and turns offering breathtaking, memorable views with surprises around each bend in the road. I won’t spoil it, but as a mom what I call “the hug” scene was so moving I thought my heart would burst with joy.

So here we go, strap on your helmet, and let me introduce you to Karla.

Where do you write?
I’d like to say I write in a neatly organized office, and I may do that someday, but right now my office is filled with hundreds of books from my teaching years. Now that I’m sure I like reading digitally on my iPad, I’m arranging to give many of them away. For now, I usually write from my comfy chair in the living room in the middle of the chaos. I’m pretty good at tuning noise out or I use my headphones.
What is your process?
I usually start with an idea that has to do with a unique or unsuspecting character in an unusual situation. And I may write a little synopsis or just start writing and then brainstorm on paper. I always keep a notebook with me so I can write down ideas or work on chapters. I have limited time to write, so I do it every chance I get.
Describe your book.
A pastor’s wife decides to learn to ride a motorcycle and when she does, she creates all kinds of hilarious drama between the women she recruits to ride with her and the church board.
Why should readers pick it up? If they’ve ever been involved in church leadership or like a good laugh about women aged 40+ doing crazy things, I think they’ll enjoy the adventure. Kirstie, the pastor’s wife, also has an autistic son, and two boys who are just regular kids with their own dramas. Kirstie is a homeschool Mom, too. Homeschooling and autism are two causes dear to my heart.
How did your book come to life?
I learned to ride a motorcycle at the tender age of 47. And so many funny things happened to me, I thought the same concept would make a good book. I also wanted to give a little insight into what it’s like being a pastor’s family, what it’s like to live with autism, and how it feels to go through some of the things Kirstie goes through.
Who is your favorite character in the book and why?
This is a tough one! There are many quirky characters in the book. Of course Kirstie is my first favorite because she’s a pastor’s wife like me. I guess my second favorites would be Opal and Atticus. Opal is someone in her 60s who’s never married and scared of her own shadow. You’ll have to read the book to find out who Atticus is.
How did you name your characters?
I did web searches for popular names of the year they were born on baby name sites.
Are the characters based on people you know?
There may be some character qualities that are like people I know, but I didn’t base the character on an individual but more on a single type of person.
Why will readers enjoy your book?
If they like reading about how people relate to one another in hilarious and unexpected ways, they’ll love it.
Is anything in the book based on your own life?
The fact that I’m a pastor’s wife who rides a motorcycle, of course, is something like me, but Kirstie isn’t like me at all. She has a lot more energy!
Ironically, when I wrote the book, a couple of things that are in the book did happen to me later. I write about Alzheimer’s and had no idea at the time that my mother-in-law with Alzheimer’s would come to live with us.
I write about the preacher’s son’s trouble with the law, and had no idea we, too, would be experiencing some of the same heartbreak. You can read about that on my Prison Ministry page on my website. It’s almost as if the Lord was preparing me well for what we were to go through. Sort of a foreshadowing. God is so good that way.
What is your favorite scene in the book?
Oh my goodness, that’s so hard because there are so many that I love. I love the scene with the pastor’s family’s pet bull mastiff when he interrupts a church meeting after a swim in the pond. I also love the part where the women get locked in a Harley Davidson dealership after hours. But perhaps the best part is when they all go to jail. Then again there is that love scene…
Why Christian fiction?
I was a voracious reader as a child. I read anything I could get my hands on and I was blessed to have a mother and father who loved to read. From the time I was small my mother read to us out of the classics.
By the time I was in 5th grade I’d read classics such as David Copperfield, Treasure Island, and The Yearling. I also read all those Reader’s Digest condensed books my parents got every month. Every one of them. But in Jr. High or High School, I read the book, Christy, by Catherine Marshall.
That book impressed me so much that I felt the call into what our little church called “full time Christian service.” I knew I would serve Jesus with my life and that included my writing. I could never compare myself to Catherine Marshall, but I do hope that my books will touch people’s hearts and draw them closer to God the way that book and other Christian books did and still do.
I write hoping that someone will draw closer to God.
Here's the link to the book: The Pastor's Wife Wears Biker Boots
Karla is represented by literary agent, Linda Glaz, of Hartline Literary Agency.
Contact Info:
Snail Mail address: PO Box 61; North Manchester, IN 46962
Twitter: @KarlaAkins
Facebook author page:
If you need more information, please feel free to contact Karla directly by any of the means above.